woman packing raw chicken in a reusable freezer bag

Can You Use Reusable Freezer Bags to Store Raw Meat in the Freezer?

Reusable freezer bags are a fantastic storage solution when you need to pop some food back in the freezer or generally store something edible. They take up less room than bulky containers and are better than single-use freezer bags.

You can use reusable freezer bags to store raw meat in the freezer but you need to make sure that you clean the bags between uses. This will ensure no bacteria remains in the bags which would otherwise remain and make you ill.

Storing raw meat in the freezer

Remember, it’s not a good idea to refreeze raw meat that has already defrosted at room temperature. The U.S Department of Agriculture advises not to “refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.”

When storing raw meat in your reusable freezer bags, make sure there’s no chance of the bag leaking and keep them grouped together if using multiple bags.

If you’re storing a lot of raw meat in the freezer for longer than a week, divide it into portions and wrap each individual section and put them in the bag. This means you can take out the number of portions you need at a time and won’t have to worry about thawing and refreezing what you don’t use.

Once you’re ready to use the meat, you can keep them in their freezer bag (or individual wrapping) to thaw them in the fridge.

Cleaning reusable freezer bags

Some reusable freezer bags are dishwasher-safe, but it’s much better to clean them by hand. This avoids warping the bags or reducing their quality.

Hand washing is essential if your freezer bags are made of PEVA, which can’t handle extreme heat.

I have a guide on how to clean reusable freezer bags with more information.

How long can raw meat stay in a reusable freezer bag?

Raw meat can be stored in a freezer for between 1 to 12 months, according to FoodSafety.gov. You can check the Cold Food Storage Chart for exactly how long individual types of meat can be stored for.

When storing raw meat in your reusable freezer bags, make a note of the date you put the meat in the freezer as well as how many days are left until the use-by date. Once thawed, the meat should be good to consume for as many days as were left before the use-by date.

You can label reusable freezer bags using quality adhesive stickers or markers. If your reusable freezer bag has a rigid side this is the best place to use a marker pen or Sharpie.

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